Month: June 2011

2011 Summer Editorial

Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation

Summer 2011, Volume 4, Issue 2



Welcome to the Summer 2011 issue of the Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation (JCR). As you know, JCR is one of the two official journals of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitation (iACToR). Now in its 16th year, the annual international CyberPsychology & CyberTherapy Conference (CT16) agreed, in 2009, to become the official conference of iACToR. So, along with CyberPsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking Journal (CYBER), CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation (C&R) Magazine, and JCR, we celebrate our Combined Communications Platform. The journals, conference, magazine, and association combine into one powerful platform to address previous information deficits in the utilization of advanced technologies in healthcare. We will strive to speak with a united voice to inform and educate stakeholders about the uses of technologies in healthcare, as well as how technologies are impacting behavior and society.

This year we are proud to be holding CT in Canada. Organized by the Interactive Media Institute (IMI), a 501c3 nonprofit organization, in cooperation with Université du Québec en Outoauais (UQO), CT16 is being held June 19-22, 2011 in Gatineau, Canada. This venue speaks to the continued growth and collaboration, not just amongst Europe and the U.S., but also amongst researchers and scholars worldwide. This year’s conference theme is two-fold: First, CT16 will explore technologies as enabling tools. This will include the uses of advanced technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) simulations, videogames, telehealth, video-conferencing, the Internet, robotics, brain computer interfaces, wearable computing, non-invasive physiological monitoring devices, in diagnosis, assessment, and prevention of mental and physical disorders. In addition, we will look at interactive media in training, education, rehabilitation, and therapeutic interventions. Second, CT16 will explore the impact of new technologies. CT16 will investigate how new technologies are influencing behavior and society, for example, through healthy ageing initiatives, positive and negative effects of social network- ing tools, and online gaming.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who are helping to make this year’s conference possible through their tireless energy and drive the Co-Organizer and Conference Co-Chair Professor Stéphane Bouchard; this year’s Scientific Chairs, Professors Paul Emmelkamp, Wijnand Ijsselsteijn and Giuseppe Riva; Exhibit Chair Professor Sun Kim; Workshop Chair Pro- fessor Heidi Sveistrup; Cyberarium Chair Geneviève Robillard; and Website Chair Professor Andrea Gaggioli. Many thanks also to the Scientific Committee, made up of prominent researchers from around the world, and the Local Advisory Committee in Gatineau, as well as all of the presenters and attendees. Finally, my gratitude to Geneviève Robillard, Emily Butcher and Jocel Rivera for overseeing the Conference Coordination, to Christina Valenti for editing related materials, and to the teams at Université du Québec en Outaouais, Interactive Media Institute, Virtual Reality Medical Center, and Virtual Realty Medical Institute for their time and contributions to all facets of the conference.

To our sponsors, who continue to support our vision and help make it a reality, a warm and heartfelt thank you – 3dVia, Assemblée Nationale du Québec, Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychology, Casino LacLeamy, the European Commission Information Society and Media, Gouvernement du Québec, Interactive Media Institute (IMI), International Association of Cy- berPsychology, Training & Rehabilitation (iACToR), INTERSTRESS, In Virtuo, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Ville de Gatineau, the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC), the Virtual Reality Medical Institute (VRMI) and WorldViz.

As integral parts of our Combined Communications Platform, the CT Conference series will continue to work together with iACToR, JCR, and C&R to inform and educate industry, academia, and government officials and the general public on the explosive growth of advanced technologies for therapy, training, education, prevention and rehabilitation.

As in previous conferences, this year’s conference will be hosting an interactive exhibit area, the Cyberarium, which allows conference attendees and members of the press to try new technologies firsthand. To recognize outstanding achievements by students and new researchers, as well as lifetime achievement for a senior researcher, we will also be hosting awards during the conference and announcing the 2011-2012 iACToR officers during the General Assembly. Pre-conference workshops will focus on advanced topics including psychotherapeutic applications, brain computer interface devices, and rehabilitation, and there will also be an introduction to VR workshop for those newer to the area.

As we approach CT16 with excitement, we begin too to look toward next year’s conference, CyberPsychology & CyberTherapy 17, to be held in Brussels, Belgium September 12-15, 2012. Thank you again for your commit- ment to the evolution of healthcare!



Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCIA

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation

Virtual Reality Medical Institute

Who Gets Funding? Let the People Decide

In The Department of Mad Scientists,1 Michael Belfiore offers a glimpse into the workings of the maverick Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is re- sponsible for the birth of the Internet and GPS, among other amazing inventions. The small percentage of Americans who know about DARPA may have heard about it because it funds the Grand Challenge Race, with a $2 million prize for the first autonomous robot that makes it through a desert course, avoiding obstacles and following the rules.

‘‘One enormous continuing development is the exponen- tial growth of social networking media and the increasing use of social media by companies to crowdsource ideas, mount contests to award prizes and gather audiences, and attempt to create dialogues with customers,’’ wrote Rosabeth Moss Kanter in her syndicated column toward the end of 2010.2 The following examples illustrate how these new types of contests can work, and provide food for thought about new possi- bilities for research and development funding.

In 2010, Google awarded a total of $10 million to five finalists in its Project 10^100 contest, which solicited ideas for changing the world by helping as many people as possible. From 150,000 ideas submitted by people in 170 countries, Google selected 16 big ideas and let people vote for their favorites.

The Pepsi Refresh Project is looking for great ideas that are going to ‘‘refresh the world.’’ As with traditional grant funding, there are specific grant cycles, applications, and ca- tegories for projects costing from $5,000 to $50,000. What is new is that the project director gets to promote his/her pro- ject through videos and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and the projects that garner the most votes win. Pepsi awards up to $1.2 million each month for such projects.

A 2011 contest sponsored by Enterprise Rent a Car was called Giving Back. It allowed visitors to its Facebook page to decide among 10 competing charities nominated by En- terprise employees. The first-place winner received $10,000, the second-place winner received $5,000, and the third- and fourth-place winners received $2,500 each. The contest gave Enterprise Rent a Car an opportunity to promote its foun- dation, which gives 75% of its funds to employee-suggested charities.

Talking about the Dockers ‘‘Wear the Pants’’ contest, in which entrants submitted a 400-word business plan and awards were made on the basis of votes from both commu- nity members and a panel of judges, one author3 offers tips for businesses wishing to engage in social media contests:

  •  The best prizes positively affect people’s lives, creating a positive association for the company.
  •  If everyone gets something (e.g., a coupon) for partici- pating, it helps everyone feel included.
  •  Associating with a good cause generates emotional ap- peal and a reason to spread the word.
  •  Running a contest through Facebook keeps visitors there longer, interacting with the company and each other.
  • A ‘‘soft sell’’ approach that mixes branding, sales, and
    contest strategy is appropriate for social media.
  • Identifying how the contest fits into the marketing strategy, devoting sufficient resources, and defining what a successful outcome looks like are essential to thecontest’s success.

CYBER readers may be interested in the results of a recent study,4 which identified seven key components to informa- tion communication and technology (ICT) competitions:

1. Challenge goal—what sponsors hope to achieve (e.g., prompt innovative thinking);
2. Marketing—howandtowhomsponsorsspreadtheword (e.g., conferences, Web site, social networking sites);
3. Application process—how entries are submitted (most are publicly available);
4. Judging criteria—what is used to evaluate applicants (e.g., originality, economic viability);
5. Judging process—the particular mix that determines winners (e.g., external experts, crowdsourcing, presen- tations);
6. Winners—recent winners and their topics (e.g., mobile apps);
7. Supplemental support—what additional support is of- fered to winners (e.g., coaching for pitching ideas to investors).

The authors of this study concluded, ‘‘In general, contests are increasingly being used as a tool to solve society’s most entrenched problems.’’

This leads us to suggest that more government agencies follow DARPA’s lead. Why shouldn’t governments hold con- tests that let the people decide which projects are funded? This could start small, with perhaps one percent of government re- search and development funding allocated to such contests. In these days of American Idol voting and social media-based contests, we suggest that U.S. and European government agencies consider the benefits of letting the people decide.

1. Belfiore M. (2009) The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs. Washington, DC: Smithsonian.
2. Kanter RM. A promising year for technology and innovation. Harvard Business Review 2010; T19:20:43Z.

3. Cotriss D. Social Campaign Shows the Power of Contests. Small Business Trends, April 21, 2011. 2011/04/social-campaign-shows-the-power-of-contests.html (accessed May 10, 2011).
4. Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors. (2009) Media, in- formation and communication contests: an analysis. Presented to John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. www.knightfoundation .org/dotAsset/356025.pdf (accessed May 10, 2011).


Brenda K. Wiederhold